The joy of gathering while still following COVID-19 protocols

On Tuesday, June 23, the Old Men of the Mountain met. That is a cool opening and in a way true. The OMOTM and a few of their wives braved the COVID-19 and decided to get together. Some wore masks but eventually removed them.

The gathering was held outdoors and the group did sit most of the time more than six feet apart, and protocols were followed in serving, cooking, and using utensils. Those who were there felt reasonably safe from the virus.

Plus it was a beautiful day sitting under a century-old cedar tree while watching an eagle snake a fish from the lake. The breeze was stiff enough to blow any germs away.

One of the conversations mentioned blocking unwanted calls on the cell phones. There were different ways offered to handle this situation. The problem was why we are now getting back into these unwanted calls. There was a short period there that we did not get many “robo” calls; it seems now they have started up again.

One person said the ones making the calls have found a way to get around the restrictions put in place to stop them. The person making the statement said, “Those restrictions lasted about two months, and that was about it.”

Talking about phones and robo calls segued into scam calls and two of the ladies at the gathering said they have received those calls and both said the caller said he was their grandson. One of the ladies was astute enough to ask the caller’s name.

“Oh dear, which one are you? What is your name?” The caller replied, “Don’t you know my name? I am your grandson.” And she hung up.

Another one was, “This is your grandson calling and I need help.”

“Where are you?” the wife of the OF asked.

“In court” was the reply.

“Yes, but what city?” the wife of the OF asked.

“New York,” was the reply.

“Yes, but what city?” the wife of the OF said, and the calling party hung up. You gotta be old to be smart.


Warner Lake

A conversation started on the name of Warner(s) Lake, which does not have an “s” now. “Maybe at one time it did,” one OG said. How it lost its “s” — no one knew why.

And in talking about the lake, there is one OMOTM who is a warm-weather aficionado and he follows the sun to Florida in the winter and this OF is a pilot. However, he is not familiar with some members of the early OMOTM group and that group included another OF who was a pilot.

This preceding OF had his airport at the south end of the lake. Now the OFs don’t know if the OF had engine problems, or maybe, just maybe, he kinda missed the runway one day and landed his Piper J3 in the middle of the lake.

Thank goodness Warner Lake is more of a mill pond than a lake and is not too deep. The deepest part of the lake, and it is not much, is only 50 feet. The water where the OF plopped his plane into was about 30 feet. OF course the OF made it out OK, and natives got the plane out also.


Map mishap

One OF mentioned he read the column last week of Google calling Fox Creek, Cobleskill Creek, and he related how Google has his driveway listed as the continuation of a road right here in East Berne. Google maps show the road going up his driveway and hooking back on the road it turned off of and it even has a name.

The OF says he has contacted Google more than once and they haven’t done anything about it. This scribe checked it out and, sure enough, there it is, just like the OF says.


Boat ride

One case where the distancing was broken is when the host OF took the OFs that wanted to go on a boat ride around the lake. Those that made the trip said it was fun and they had the chance to see some of the houses on the west side of the lake.

This was an odd boat because the OFs had to bring their own chairs. One OF mentioned it was like riding in the back of the pickup truck to go to the street movies in the old days in Schoharie.

Another OF brought his snorkeling gear and went for a snorkel. Upon the OFs return, he reported how shallow the lake was, and how he saw about six or eight huge carp cleaning up the bottom of the lake.

The OF assumed their weight was approximately 40 to 50 pounds. Those are some large fish, the OFs thought, and should keep the lake pretty clean.



In case we decide to have another gathering at the lake please remember: Old men think fast.

An elderly man in Florida had owned a large farm for several years. One evening the old farmer decided to go down to his pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.

As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, “We’re not coming out until you leave!”

The old man frowned, “I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked.”

Holding the bucket up he said, “I'm here to feed the alligator.”